Some American Indian Statistics

There are 561 federally recognized tribal government tribes in the United States and Canada. There are 314 tribes in reservations starting in 1930 till today. According to the 2003 US Census Bureau estimates, a little over one third of the 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States live in three states. These states are California, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

Nation, Tribe, and Band

A Native American Elder, “Standing Bear”, makes these comments about Native American Nations and Tribes, “Many people are often confused by the two terms, Nation and Tribe.  Even tribal officials often use them interchangeably.  However, there is a difference. Our definition says a “nation” is a composite of two or more tribes. … Nation, Tribe, and Band »»

Descendants of Cherokee Freedmen

In 1983 the tribal council quickly passed an act which required that all tribal members be able to obtain a Certificate of Indian Blood (CDIB) card showing their degree of Indian blood, so to be a member of the Cherokee Nation, you needed first to get a CDIB and it is virtually impossible for the descendants of the Freedmen to get one based on the Dawes rolls. Several descendants have brought their cases to the Courts and lost.  In March 2006, the Judicial Appeals Tribunal (JAT), the Cherokee Nation's highest court recently ruled that the law not allowing descendants of Freedmen joining the Cherokee Nation is unconstitutional, thus they should be allowed to join and vote as legit Cherokee citizens. You can find the ruling. However, the Cherokee Nation is trying to pass amendments, it is not over. Here is the information to enlist at African-nativemerican.com

Oklahoma's Black Indians and their hundreds of thousands of descendents are among those who have left a legacy of records, from the Dawes rolls to the earlier records created after the Treaty of 1866 was signed. In addition, until the middle of the 20th century, there were Black Indians – Freedmen who still lived and practiced the customs of the nations where they had been born. The WPA Slave Narratives contained more than 25 interviews of Black Indians, who spoke of their lives as Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws. Their language, burial customs, and diet were formulated by the native culture into which they had been born, lived and eventually died. 

Those seeking more knowledge about the customs practiced by these Black Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes will not find lives centered around pow wows, and Hollywood images of the plains nations. These documented citizens of the Five nations were bilingual, bicultural people, seeking to establish new lives for themselves in their new country and their new state of Oklahoma.Most of the Freedmen of Indian Territory who were adults when freed, were bilingual, speaking both English and the language of their Indian slave owners. In some cases some of the Indian Territory slaves, learned English after slavery ended, when meeting members of their families from whom they had been sold. Many of the Black Indians moved easily from English to their Indian mother tongue, while others had their native Indian language as their language of choice. There were others who preferred English though still understanding their Indian language. These excerpts reveal the language and culture in which the African Indians lived."

Those seeking more knowledge about the customs practiced by these Black Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes will not find lives centered around pow wows, and Hollywood images of the plains nations. These documented citizens of the Five nations were bilingual, bicultural people, seeking to establish new lives for themselves in their new country and their new state of Oklahoma.Most of the Freedmen of Indian Territory who were adults when freed, were bilingual, speaking both English and the language of their Indian slave owners. In some cases some of the Indian Territory slaves, learned English after slavery ended, when meeting members of their families from whom they had been sold. Many of the Black Indians moved easily from English to their Indian mother tongue, while others had their native Indian language as their language of choice. There were others who preferred English though still understanding their Indian language. These excerpts reveal the language and culture in which the African Indians lived."

For more information see: http://www.cherokeebyblood.com/blackindians.htm#F

 

Oneida Nation

The Oneida Nation donated $3 million to Harvard Law School to establish a professorship in Indian studies. The professorship will be the first endowed chair in American Indian studies at Harvard University and the only professorship of its kind east of the Mississippi River.

Ten Commandments

 If you are nostalgic for the days when the Ten Commandments were posted in public buildings, you might want to consider visiting the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. The tribal council is making plans to mount a copy of the Ten Commandments in the council house where government meetings are held, and possibly display them throughout other public buildings in Cherokee.

Commonwealth of Virginia Acknowledgment

The Commonwealth of Virginia acknowledged the maltreatment and exploitation of Native Americans and the immoral institution of human slavery. Virginia Senate Joint Resolution No. 332 – February 24, 2007.  See http://www.ifapray.org/NativeAmericanPrayer/NAPA07/NAPA_2_24_07.html

Medal of Honor

Throughout history, American Indians have been among those soldiers to be distinguished by receiving the United States' highest military honor: the Medal of Honor. Given for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," these warriors exhibited extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy and, in many cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country

Sakajawea

American Indians and Alaska Natives have played a central role in our history. In 1805 and 1806, Sakajawea, a Shoshone Indian woman, helped guide Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition to explore the uncharted West. This remarkable journey, known as the "Voyage of Discovery," would not have been possible without her efforts, and today she remains a proud symbol of American Indian courage and strength.

Cherokee National Education Corporation

The Cherokee Nation Educational Corporation (CNEC) is helping to ease the financial burden of higher education costs through several scholarship opportunities available to Cherokee Nation citizens. The CNEC is a non-profit corporation with a mission to provide educational assistance to Cherokee tribal citizens. One of the goals of CNEC is to revitalize the language, culture and history of the Cherokee people.

Alaska Tlingit Tribes

Human remains estimated to be more than 10,000 years old will be returned to southeast Alaska Tlingit tribes 11 years after they were found in a cave in the Tongass National Forest. It's the first time a federal agency has conveyed custody of such ancient remains to indigenous groups under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.